The FinTech revolution has been of huge benefit to the UK, with £27.5billion being invested in 2021 – up 217% from 2020. It is a sector in which we are genuinely world-leading, and the Government is committed to ensuring this remains the case. As the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for FinTech, I have met with and hosted a number of key industry players in Parliament, and they are very positive about the future direction of travel.
Given that many of these firms are multinationals based on the City of London, you may be asking, how does that affect me? I understand and appreciate that it is not easy to see the relevance of technologies like blockchain, or the significance of tenths of a percentage point when it comes to interchange fees and open banking, but if we look at how much has changed even in the past decade, it gives us an idea of what can come.
Gone are the days of having to put your card in a machine and type in a pin to see your bank balance, or of having to recite account numbers over the phone to make a purchase. Access and ease of finance has never been better than it has right now. I don't want to see people left behind by these changes, and this is where I believe that the FinTech industry can actually help and be a vehicle of inclusion.
Many people are rightly concerned at the loss of cash machines and bank branches for example – especially the impact on elderly people or those without immediate access to technology. I should be clear that advancement in some areas does not have to mean regression in others and it is important that new technology works for and benefits everyone in our society.
With the Fintech Apps available today, I am reassured that anyone with a smartphone or internet access can now choose from a range of ways to save, buy goods and transfer money.